The Word Became Flesh

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

The John of the Gospel of John was a disciple of Jesus, brother of James.  Along with Peter, these three made up an inner circle of disciples.  John and Peter witnessed the figuration.  It was these two who healed the lame man in front of the temple who was begging for alms.

Jesus had died, risen and ascended into heaven approximately 33 A.D.  John wrote this Gospel approximately 85 to 90 AD. – Some 50 years later.

Christianity was spreading to the entire world as they knew it.  How would John, a Jew, write about Jewish tradition, history and a messiah that only Jews were looking for?  Through the power of the Holy Spirit John used a term that all the world could comprehend.  The entire world, the learned, the scholar all knew Greek and they understood the power and might of the “word.” 

The “word” was seen as the power that enabled men to think and reason.  It was the power that brought light and understanding to man’s mind and enabled him to express his thoughts in an orderly fashion.  Here in the Gospel of John, the “word” was not just a “word.’  It was the power by which men came into contact with God and began to comprehend the deeper things of God.  John proclaimed that “Jesus Christ was the Word and the Word became flesh.”

Jesus Christ was the picture, the expression, the pattern, the very image of what God wished to say to man. 

“The Word was made flesh” God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was made flesh and blood; He became a man.  No greater message could ever be proclaimed to man.

Christ dwelt visibly among us

John the Baptist bore witness of the superiority of Christ

Men have received the fullness and grace of Christ

God’s Son alone has seen God

Incarnation – The Son of God was actually made flesh.  He came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.  There is no doubt about John’s meaning here.  The word “flesh” (sarx) is the same word that Paul used to describe man’s nature with all of its weakness and tendency to sin.  Jesus Christ is fully God, yet He is fully man.  The word “beheld” means actually seeing with the human eye.  There is no room for saying that God becoming a man was merely a vision.  John was saying that he and others actually saw the Word made flesh.

Flesh –What does the Bible mean by “flesh”?

The flesh is corruptible.  Sin has tainted and debased the flesh.  Therefore, the flesh sins and ages, dies, deteriorates and decays.

Galatians 6:8 – For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

1 Corinthians 15:50 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Christ became flesh to correct and counteract this corruption of the flesh

1 Peter 1:18-19, 23-25 – knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”  Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The flesh is dishonorable.  It is not what God created it to be. 

Romans 7:18 – For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 1:28-32 – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Christ became flesh to correct and counteract the dishonor of the flesh

Hebrews 2:14-15 – Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Romans 5:8-10 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

The flesh is weak.  It is impotent, feeble because of sin.  It has no strength to please God nor to save itself.

Romans 8:8 – So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

John 6:63 – It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

The flesh is a natural body.  It is part of the earth; it is made up of the chemicals and substances of the earth.  It is “the earthly home,” the “tent,” which houses the human soul and spirit.  It is neither spirit nor spiritual; therefore it cannot live beyond the strength of the chemicals and substances that form its flesh.  It cannot live beyond its natural life

1 Corinthians 15:50 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Luke 24:39 – Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.

Christ became flesh to counteract the natural body of the flesh.  He became flesh in order to become a “quickening spirit,” the Savior who could quicken and make alive all those who would trust Him.

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Glory of the Incarnation

Christ was the “Shekinah glory” of god.  This work means “that which dwells” or “dwelling.”  It refers to the bright cloud that God used to guide Israel out of Egypt and that rested upon the tabernacle and above the Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place.  It symbolizes God’s presence.  John was saying, “We beheld,” actually saw the Shekinah glory, God’s very presence “dwelling among us.”

John said we looked at Him and could tell He was God.  All that Jesus was in His person and being, character and behavior, was so enormously different. 

James, the Lord’s brother in the natural, even called Jesus “the Lord of glory.”  James was reared with Jesus beginning from the earliest years of childhood right on through the years of adulthood.  He had every chance to see some act of disobedience, some sin, something contrary to the nature of God.  But he called Jesus –

James 2:1 – My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

Christ was full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh,

justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.

Hebrews 2:14 – Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

Grace, as applied to Christ, means far more than it does when men use it.  When man does favors for his friends, he can be said to be gracious.  But God has done a thing unheard of among men.  He has given his very own Son to die for his enemies.  Grace became the favor of God showered upon men – men who did not deserve His favor. 

Fullness and grace of Christ given to us

“Fullness” means that which fills, the sum total.  It is the sum total of all that is in God.

Colossians 1:9-10- For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

“Grace” is His blessing upon us.  Grace enough to meet all our needs, not matter the circumstance.  We cannot earn this grace.  It is a gift of God.

Titus 3:4-7 – But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Romans 3:23-24 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.